|Election Promise or Hostage to Fortune?|
Local elections decided on local issues are good for local democracy, but obtaining votes by deception is bad for democracy. Rupert and Jane were accused by the Conservatives of misleading the electorate in the final stages of the campaign. It remains to be seen if Hampshire County Council Leader Ken Thornber will follow up his threat to refer the Lib Dems to the Electoral Commission. Where there is no doubt is that the Lib Dems promised for the second year to stand up against more building and traffic. It remains to be seen if they will act on that promise this year, having failed to do so last year.
|Putting Botley First|
Having promised to "Put Botley First" it looks unlikely that Rupert will be able to improve his attendance record at Hedge End Town Council where he only managed seven meetings in the last year, the equal lowest attendance of all Town Councillors.
Although turnout was low - 36.5% - compared to recent elections in St John's, Jane's percentage share indicates a recovery in Lib Dem support, which had been declining, and her strong personal vote. The Conservatives must be disappointed that their share of vote fell by almost ten per cent - probably because Tory supporters disappointed with the Cameron / Clegg coalition's recent performance simply stayed at home.
Although the UKIP vote broke through the 10% line for the first time, all the UKIP votes would not have been enough for the Conservatives to catch Jane on this occasion.
Labour support (in contrast to neighbouring Southampton) is flatlining at 8% in the absence of any local presence.
|St John's Ward Percentage Share of Vote|
(*) As an independent councillor I am very happy that Botley also elected six Independents to their parish council, resulting in a balanced council of six Independents, five Lib Dems and one Conservative.